Contemporary Religious Movements in Taiwan

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This book is a study of the recruitment strategies and conversion rhetoric in contemporary religious movements, focusing primarily on two movements in Taiwan, Tzu Chi and Falun Gong. The author demonstrates that an examination of such rhetoric has the potential to provide genuine insights into how a given religion gains adherents. This book contains seven black and white photographs of figures.


“This book deserves to be widely read for a number of reasons. First it deals with two religious movements, Tzu Chi and Falun Gong, which are not widely known. ... Second, the volume utilizes a sophisticated methodology which allows Dr. Chou to analyze and illuminate her field data, and to contextualize it sociologically and historically. ... Third, this volume profoundly challenges some dominant schools of sociology of religion. ... In short this is a volume which, though demanding, will repay careful reading.” – Professor Philip S. Alexander FBA, University of Manchester, Department of Religions and Theology

“Chou’s work clearly establishes her as one of the foremost interpreters in her field. ... her insights into the Tzu Chi movement and Falun Gong are unparalleled in Western literature. ... there are few works I could recommend as heartily as this one and it will certainly have a place on both my book shelf and in my classroom.” – Professor Chung-Hwa Ku, Department of Sociology, National Cheng Chi University

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
Foreword by Philip S. Alexander
1 Introduction
2 Religion in Chinese/Taiwanese Society
3 The Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation as Traditional Religious Revivalism
4 Falun Gong as a New Religious Movement
5 Tzu Chi and Falun Gong’s Rhetorical Visions and their Implications
6 Conclusion, Reflections and Suggestions

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